2004 1/12th Worlds Championships – CRC cars capture their first A-final at an IFMAR World Championship!
At the 2004 World Championship, Calandra Racing Concepts’ drivers Hubert Honigl, Jilles Groskamp and Marc Rheinard had their eye on a World Champioship title. All 3 drivers represent some of Europe’s finest talent. For Groskamp and Rheinard, this event would be their first major 1/12th competition in years and also their first run with CRC’s new Carpet Knife 3.2R. Joining them racing CRC cars were the UK’s Alan Curry, Austria’s Wilhelm Pichler and American CRC drivers; Jeff Dayger, Mark and Frank Calandra Jr.
|With the race in late October, Calandra Racing was deep in the preparation for the upcoming indoor carpet season kicking off with the biggest indoor road race, the U.S. Indoor Champs in Cleveland. Less than 1 week before the event, CRC was lucky enough to land the driving talents of both Groskamp and Rheinard. This meant some late-night building at the last minute to get CRC Carpet Knife cars up and running for Groskamp and Rheinard. Luckily, CRC’s Mark Calandra and Robert Bachofner were able to get the cars together in time.
|CRC’s Top Drivers at the 2004 World Championship
2004 World Champion Marc Rheinard
Hubert “Hupo” Honigl
Also at the event, Austria’s Hubert “Hupo” Honigl fresh from his good showing at both the 2004 Euros and Snowbirds. Hupo had his Carpet Knife sharpened and ready to take on the hot Florida asphalt. Hupo’s Carpet Knife was meticulously prepared by CRC’s European Team Manager, Robert Bachofner.
The entire CRC team was running the new #4160 CRC Courage C60 Evo3 body recently released to the market. In addition, all the drivers were running CRC’s Track Magnet tires. No magic unobtainable racing rubber, just standard off-the-shelf CRC racing rubber on the finest, strongest rim you can find.
Jilles’s Carpet Knife with the CRC Courage body and CRC Track Magnet Magenta front and Pink rear tires.
Marc Rheinard’s very stock CRC Carpet Knife, with CRC’s Magenta front + Rear tires and Courage Body.
In the end, Jilles Groskamp and Marc Rheinard made the prestigious A-main with the CRC Carpet Knife 3.2R, the CRC Courage C60 Evo3 body and CRC Track magnet tires. A special thanks to Peak/Orion for providing great horsepower for both drivers. Jilles had a excellent chance for a second place podium finish, especially with Masami sitting out the final A-main. Jilles needed to win over Atsushi Hara to take second. While Jilles did manage to beat Hara in the 3rd final, it was not a battle for the lead, so unfortunately, a podium finish was not to be for the Flying Dutchman.
What was very impressive about Jilles’s run was the extreme pressure he was under. It seemed Groskamp never had a moment to relax in his 24 minutes of A-mains. He was not only being pressure from behind, but he was also trying to make passes as well.. It appeared that his entire main event was spent in a whirlwind of cars, bumper to bumper with all drivers showing great patience. What a masterful job all the drivers did, staying that close without a major crash. Just a small altercation between Jilles and Japan’s Takizawa cost both drivers a a bit of time, and that’s all it took to take Jilles off the podium. However, a 4th place finish for the part-time 1/12th scale driver in his first ever race with a CRC car was a great result!
Poor Marc Rheinard just had terrible luck in the finals. He ran lap times capable of a podium finish, but poor starts cost him any chance for a good result. Marc was the last car to cross the line after every start. In fact, after a lengthy pit stop in the first final to fix the body, Marc was put back on the track right behind the battle of Hara and Hirosaka. Marc then promptly hooked onto Masami and Atsushi following them closely for a number of laps. With the first turn crashes, Rheinard ended up 10th after the 3 mains.
According to his dad, Uwe, until this event, Rheinard had very little experience in 1/12th scale modified. Marc showed podium speed all weekend long, getting faster and faster each qualifier. With each passing qualifier, you could see this talented German was picking up the finer points of 1/12th scale. All I can say is “watch out” if this guy gets more experience in 1/12th scale, he could begin a new dynasty of World Championships.
Just missing the A-main was Snowbird’s podium finisher, Hubert Honigl from Austria. Hupo ran some perfect qualifiers, his CRC car very smooth and consistent. Run after run, it appeared that Hupo was pouring the car around the track. Honigl had a good finish at the Euros back in April and followed that up with a 13th place finish at the Worlds. I know Hupo was looking for a top 10, but he certainly drove well with his car looking smooth and fast.
In summary, a great result for the Calandra Racing team. Two cars in the A-final, 1 car in the top of the B. No team trick cars, no fancy tires, no special bodies, just good quality products you can buy off the shelf. Now… if we could only package the magic that is in the hands of these talented drivers……